The hotly-anticipated new chapter in the Jurassic Park tale is bound to be one of THE films of the summer. Keeley Bolger finds out more about the dino-myte movie
Steven Spielberg first opened the gates to Jurassic Park back in 1993, but in the dino-brand’s next screen outing, it’s the relatively unknown Colin Trevorrow who is holding the keys.
Spielberg, who this time acts as an executive producer, picked Trevorrow – who won acclaim with his short films and has only made one feature length movie before, 2012’s comedy Safety Not Guaranteed – to sit in the director’s chair.
Keen to avoid making “fan fiction”, Trevorrow’s story takes place on Isla Nublar where the original was set, and swerves the previous two sequels, which were box office successes but largely critical flops.
Now home to the dinosaur theme park originally envisioned by Dr John Hammond (memorably played by the late Richard Attenborough), manager Claire, played by Bryce Dallas Howard, is desperate to keep the visitors coming back.
But when the new attraction goes monstrously wrong, she has to call on ex-military animal expert Owen, played by Parks And Recreation star Chris Pratt, to avert dino-disaster.
“I was really trying hard not to do something derivative,” explains Trevorrow of how he approached the film. “I needed to make something that fans are going to recognise, and that people are going to have a similar kind of feeling towards, to what they had when they watched the first one.”
Indeed, back in the early Nineties, Jurassic Park took the family-friendly action-adventure genre to epic new heights. But what else can we expect this time round?
Let’s find out…
As director, Trevorrow had to make some tough decisions, one of which was “not to bring back all the same characters”. That said, there will be one familiar face in the actor B.D. Wong, who played Dr Hammond’s lead geneticist Dr Wu in the original 1993 film.
“We wanted to bring back a character from the original,” says Trevorrow of the casting. “Although he spent just a couple of minutes in the first film, Dr Wu is much more fleshed out in the book and is a crucial component in the [story’s] history. Having so much genetics and science in this film, it was important to have a character who’s informed of everything that’s gone on before this moment and can pull us back into that world.”
Keep your eyes peeled for the visitor centre scenes, where a statue of Dr Hammond overlooks proceedings.
“If you look closely, you’ll see that in his hand, he’s holding his cane and in that cane is a piece of amber with a mosquito inside,” explains production designer Ed Verreaux of the character’s iconic walking stick.
As well as new human faces, there will also be some fresh dinosaur species on the scene, but space has been left at the park for some prehistoric classics, of course.
“As someone who is a fan of these films, I don’t think I could wake up in the morning without bringing back certain dinosaurs,” explains Trevorrow.
“It’s important to me that dinosaurs like the T-Rex are given the weight and the heroic qualities that they had in the first film.”
While shooting in Hawaii, the crew took part in a spiritual blessing ceremony.
“When [we filmed] Jurassic Park, there was a hurricane that destroyed all the sets,” explains producer Patrick Crawley. “We wanted to make every effort to make sure that didn’t happen again.”
Some of Jurassic World was filmed in the gigantic car park of a disused theme park in New Orleans, which was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina. The setting was brought to life with 800 extras for filming.
The crew wanted to make their park as true to life as possible, and so designed an on-site Hilton Isla Nublar, a Starbucks and even a branch of expensive sushi restaurant Nobu for the park’s super wealthy guests.
The team made true-to-scale models of some of the velociraptors, which had heads as big as saltwater crocodiles.
Used to help the actors understand where their eyeline should land when face to face with a raptor, the bodies were up to 14ft long – and pretty terrifying when they appeared out of nowhere.
“It was fun to sneak around and come up behind people, and slowly turn the head to look at them when they weren’t expecting it,” says animation supervisor Glen McIntosh.
Filling a dino-park with believable beasts was a test, but so too was the huge weight of expectation that came with making the film.
“The biggest challenge was always, in a world of this scope and scale, to be able to balance science fiction and terror, romance and adventure, with comedy and the warmth of human emotion,” says Trevorrow.
Jurassic World is out in cinemas on Thursday, June 11